Bird Watching

admin   October 11, 2014   Comments Off on Bird Watching

PAKISTAN is a land of very varied topography and climate. So, its flora and fauna is rich in variety and numbers. Two major Zoogeographical zones overlap along the length of Pakistan and even the third faunal zone, which is over Africa, has its influence in extreme southern Pakistan. Bird life is particularly rich because of the latitudinal zones of the mighty Himalayas, Karakoram and Hindukush ranges.

There is a vast zone of Alpine meadows in these ranges covering the dry-steppe zone and the beautiful valleys where snow partridge, snow cock and an astonishing variety of latitudinal migratory birds are to be found.

Whole of the Northern mountainous area is mainly temperate forest zone where tourists can uncover a wealth of bird life along the trails whilst their beautiful bird songs can be heard widely. Additional surprises are mountain sheep, black bears, langurs, grey goral, leopard, leopard cat and many others. One can look out for imperial eagles and black eagles floating along the mountain sides in the scenic valleys.

The Indus basin plains comprise of very wide habitat conditions. The riverine areas, lakes, canals and head works attract great influxes of wintering migratory water-fowl. The canal irrigated agricultural fields, gardens, roadside plantations and large tracts of irrigated land and fuel-wood plantations are best suited for oriental bird watching. The Barbet, Green Pigeons, Myancis, Woodpeckers, Koels, birds of prey and scavangers are bright jewels from the bird-watching point of view in this area. The striped squirrels and fruit-bats provide extra enjoyment.

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At the end of the irrigated areas are the sandy deserts with abundabtly growing xerophytic vegetation and an astonishing variety of birds. Courses, Houbara Bustards, Sandgrouses, Larks, Wheat-eaters, Falcons, Owls and many other birds offer good chances for observation. Further exciting experiences are Gazelles, Blackbucks, Nilgai, Caracal, desert cat, hedgehogs and a variety of desert Reptilia and insects.

The most breathtaking experience for bird-watchers is in the Indus Delta and Coastal Mangrove forests where the stage is set for migration thrills and the entire area is a magnet for terns, gulls, fishing-eagles and osprey.

The unique blind dolphins of the Indus can be sighted from a boat at Dear Ismail Khan, Taunsa Barrage and Sukkur. Marsh Crocodile observations are easy in various lakes of Sind where other birds, such as pelicans, spoon bills, ibises, strokes, egrets, cormorants and thousands of waders give triumphant bird-watching in a short period.

When the large influxes of winter migrants enter the Sub-Continent, 70% of these birds remain in Pakistan. These are protected grounds that have been designated as areas of international importance and which are a  paradise for bird-watchers.

Trans-Pakistan has prepared several exciting itineraries for bird-watching in collaboration with experts.